Bowl Sets My Favorites and Where to Buy Them - From Vintage, Serving, Cafe au Lait, and French, to True Blue Willow
Bowls and their uses
I am a lover of bowls. Bowl sets get me giddy. Especially when they match without matching. It all boils down to eye candy for me. Well, that and usefulness. There is no point in buying a bowl or a set of bowls or a bowl set that cannot do it's job correctly.
Here is an instance where one can say with confidence that size does matter. Your bowl set will do nothing for you if it is not useful and therefore cannot be enjoyed to its fullest extent.
Bowls have many uses. More than we think of off the tops of our heads. What do I use bowls for?
- bowls for mixing--all kinds of things from eggs to large batches of homemade cookie dough.
- bowls for holding chopped fruits or vegetables for use in a recipe.
- lovely bowls with which to serve nuts, chocolates, candies, etc. to guests (or yes, of course, why not, myself).
- bowls that hold or store leftovers in the fridge.
- bowls in which to serve soups, mashed potatoes, salads, etc.
- bowls to eat soup, mashed potatoes, salads, etc. from.
- bowls to eat cereal from
- bowls that are just the right size for serving or eating fruits out of--oranges, grapefruit, grapes, sliced fruits,
- bowls that are perfectly fit for serving yogurt, relishes, or other condiments
- bowls to re-warm things in the microwave
And I'm certain there are many other ways I use bowls on occasion, occasions, or on a daily basis that I'm not even thinking of. At any rate, you can see that a variety of types and sizes are good things to have about in your cabinets.
Finding and buying bowl sets
If you were to pop in for a visit to my kitchen and opened my cabinets, you would find one cabinet in particular dedicated to all sorts of bowls for all sorts of purposes. Some bowls came as a set. Some bowls were picked up simply because I could totally picture myself eating cereal out of them, or soup, or salad, or whatever.
I buy my bowls because they make me happy to think about eating or serving a particular something with them. And if you feel peaceful while you are eating, your body gives you a big thumbs up.
I like simplicity and a vintage look, a couple of facts about me that are totally noticeable just by looking in that one particular cabinet. Writing this, I'm fully realizing that my bowls are an extension of me, of my surroundings, of my décor. I like variety and my bowls show this.
So where do I find my bowls? A variety of places, just like the wonderful variety of bowls in my kitchen.
- World Market
- Straubs (a local grocery)
- Vintage or antique shops sometimes have what I'm looking for.
- Thrift stores, definitely. One in particular, Value Village, has the best selection (they're great for all sorts of things, including Vintage Hooded Coats).
- Crate and Barrel
- Pottery Barn
- Stonewall Kitchen
- online - yes, I do a lot of shopping online, especially for things I'm quite familiar, like bowls.
I've included inks to some of these favorite places to buy bowls and bowl sets on this page, so feel free to browse around. I never make it to garage sales, but I have to say, that's a great way to find individual bowls to add to your useful collection.
The reason I love the places I've mentioned is because of the quality of bowls I know I'm getting. Even at the thrift store. If you know your brands and your favorites, and your trusted and trues, you'll know what you're buying. And even if you don't know, well, a bowl can also be a favorite trinket, as so many have been to me.
Does price make a difference when searching for bowl sets?
Yes and no. It depends on what you're looking for and how long you're expecting it to last. It also depends on what you're wanting your bowl to be used for. Obviously certain brands are stronger, hold up better, are dishwasher or top rack safe, are less prone to chipping, etc; all this and are beautiful to boot. Not to mention some people have favorite brands and that's that. Others have special occasions and want their serving bowls and bowl sets to be of a certain quality which, quite frankly, means that the cheap bowl is probably out as a cheap bowl can't necessarily stand up to a pricier bowl, unless of course it was a lucky find.
To me, however, for the day to day ins and outs of life, if a bowl has "the" look, I feel like I can care for it properly, and that it can return the favor by providing the right kind of usefulness, I'm there.
How can I coordinate a bowl set of my own?
It's perfectly all right to mix bowls. In fact it's not only acceptable, it is also more and more expected to entertain with mismatched tableware. Just remember, however, that just like your outfits or décor, there needs to be a thread that links them when you're placing them at your table. This might come in one or more of the following ways:
- bowls with colors that link to each other whether or not each bowl contains each of the colors
- bowls of the same size
- bowls of the same era
- bowls of the same material
- bowls of the same thickness
At the same time, if you love it, it's your style and if it's your style, chances are your bowls will match one another, even if they may not match randomly. (For example, if I may say so, this page looks lovely, doesn't it?) When in doubt, here's a simple solution (and yes, a bit of fun):
You've got your bowls, now set them out on your table. Move them around. Let the sizes, shapes, patterns and or colors of your bowls place themselves. Often times the other things in your eat-in kitchen or in your dining room will help you get started; it's a useful idea to step back from the table and look at your room as a whole every once in a while.
Once you've done these things, step back one final time and admire. You're ready to serve.
All bowl photos can be found in the Related Blogs and Places section of this page.
- Tableware, Serving Dishes & Table Dcor | Williams-Sonoma
Discover Williams-Sonomas huge collection of fine tableware, serving dishes & table dcor and transform your tabletop into a work of art. From table linens to complete table settings, we have a diverse variety of styles to match any dcor.
- Bowls shopping in Crate and Barrel Kitchen-Accessories
Shop for Bowls and other items from the Kitchen-Accessories department at crateandbarrel.com
- Target.com Furniture, Baby, Electronics, Toys, Womens Clothing & more
Shop Target online for Furniture, Electronics, Toys, Mens and Womens Clothing, Gifts, Appliances, Video Games, Bedding and Shoes. Expect More. Pay less.
- Serve Bowls | Pottery Barn
- Stonewall Kitchen - Specialty Foods, Gifts, Gift Baskets, Kitchenware and Kitchen Accessories, Table
Stonewall Kitchen is a leading producer of specialty and gourmet foods. They also offer kitchenware, tableware, gourmet gifts and gift baskets, home and garden dcor and recipes.
bone china bowls
Related Blogs and Places
- BLUE AND WHITE
Photos, favourites, inspirations, all things blue and white. Brought to you by Paperbowlsnlemons.
- Blue Willow Ware -The Pretty Life- Eye On Life Magazine
There are many stories willing to come forth as the translation of the Blue Willow pattern. Whatever the story that is told, it is not true Blue Willow without the two...
- Blue Ant Studio: July 2007
- ...just Beachy in the city: July 2008
- South of the Sahara: Out On A LIM
Beautiful bowls and plates set from LIM, a Capetown shop.
- the haystack needle: gleena ceramics
Gleena means clay in Russian. What's the Russian translation for these handmade ceramics are stunningly gorgeous? Or I can't stop thinking about your beautiful bowls and dream of drinking frothy lattes from a bowl with a calligraphy number?
- Heath Ceramics - Home Page
- Welcome to Dwell on Design
Dwell on Design. The West Coast's Largest Modern Design Event. Los Angeles Convention Center, June 26-28, 2009.